Unlocking doors to a better life

Revolutionary self-help therapy course praised by prisoners

Equisense leaders with some of the participants and dogs at the final meeting last week

By Emma Randle

An innovative therapy project in El Acebuche prison came to a successful conclusion last week after 12 weeks of personal development activities for inmates using art and animals.

The scheme, called ’12 Steps to Sharing’, was developed by therapists Susana Salamanca and Victoria Wilkinson from local life coaching association Equisense, using a “unique fusion” of creative therapy with animal assisted coaching.

It aimed to help young male offenders deal with emotions and communicate more effectively, giving them better “life skills” with which to return to society.

In an end of course gathering last Wednesday, participants shared what they had gained from taking part in the project, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

One participant commented: “My anxiety about expressing myself in drawings rather than words went away and it really helped me to communicate my feelings.”

During the course the inmates were introduced to four rescue dogs, to encourage physical expression and communication.

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